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Standard Bank to review ‘way forward’ on East Africa oil pipeline

That environmental groups have opposed.
Image: Dean Hutton/Bloomberg

Standard Bank hired an independent adviser to help assess its involvement in Total SE’s planned East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline project that environmental groups have opposed.

Over 260 civil society organisations are pushing ahead to try and stop the project whose final investment decision is expected as early as this month. In an open letter, the groups asked dozens of banks, including Standard Bank, to stop their participation in the project they say will generate over 34 million tons of carbon emissions each year.

“A full environmental and social due diligence report” will be issued after the advisers visit the project area, Standard Bank, which acknowledged receipt of the letter, said in an emailed response to questions. The lender will then “make a decision on the way forward.”

The 1,443-kilometer (897 miles) pipeline to run from fields in western Uganda to the coast of Tanzania will transport 216 000 barrels a day at its peak, according to a website for the project. Uganda approved an environmental-impact assessment for the project in December, bringing closer the start of the pipeline’s construction.

Total didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment on Monday.

Standard Bank said its new fossil fuels financing policy sets out stringent conditions for lending. “Among other conditions, project owners must commit to minimizing or reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

© 2021 Bloomberg

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